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RESUME BLOG
ANNOUNCING OUR NEW BLOG! Sunday, 06, 05, 2012

Please visit us at www.sharkresumes.com/resumeblog for the latest advice and information to aid you in your job search.

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Job Search Strategy 101 Friday, 09, 09, 2011

  1. BE PATIENT. Job searches and transitions do take time.
  2. Decide on your 'game-plan'
  3. Write out all your contacts, peers, and professionals in your network
  4. Visualize your dream position, outline the skills you need for that position. Do you meet them?
  5. Assess your resume. If it doesn't really showcase your candidacy for your goals. Hire a service that specializes in placing candidates in your field.
  6. Verify if you need multiple formats such as text versions, resumes with different goals?
  7. Is your cover letter updated? This is just as important as a compelling resume!
  8. Post your resume on major job boards. Some examples: Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com, Yahoo Jobs, etc., are all excellent sources.
  9. Visit online newspapers to see any local listings.
  10. Research companies and attempt to engage in a conversation.
  11. Utilize recruiting firms or headhunters. Work proactively with them.
  12. Attend job fairs. Strive to increase your exposure. 'Build your brand'.
  13. Consult with your resume writing consultant on your best job strategy.
  14. Distribute and send your resume.
  15. Update/create your online network profiles.
  16. Apply for positions. Follow up!!
  17. Attend interviews and ALWAYS send a thank you letter.
  18. .Wait for calls and receive job offers!!!

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Most Commonly Seen Resume Flaws...by Virginia Jeyapal, CPRW Friday, 09, 09, 2011

For over 20 years resume errors have not changed all that much. Our professionals worked together to come up with the most common flaws they encounter.

A. Outdated Information
A very common mistake IT professionals make is that their resume starts from the beginning of their career. Experience older than 10-12 years is usually not read and ignored by potential employers and recruiters. Why? These skills are old and usually very different to what the current market is looking for.

For example, working on GW Basic is not as relevant today as your experience with .NET or Java.

A professional resume writer usually finds a way to extract exceptional highlights and weave them into your resume. Trust the professionals - they know how to best represent you. The non-biased view of your career is an added benefit.

B. Too Much Technical Jargon
Create a separate section for technical skills. Do not try to weave it into your job description. Non-technical readers seldom understand and eventually lose interest in your resume.

Too much verbiage
 

Developed Octal's new product, a programmer's toolkit to read and write binary CATIA files on a large number of computer platforms. Applied skills in numerical analysis and scientific programming using FORTRAN, C/C++. Developed platform independent code in C/C++ and HOOPS for platform independent graphics.

Can be rewritten as
Engaged in the design and development of new tools on an Oracle platform. Demonstrated proficiency in analysis and scientific programming using various tools such as C, C++. Provided SME knowledge for platform independent code, and independent graphics.


While this version has significantly less jargon, it completely catches the essence of the candidate skills. A strong technical section will extract further tools and skills sets so you are not losing any important key words or buzz phrases.

C. No Achievements
A large blurb of text does nothing. It is critical that every job EXTRACTS your achievements and shows your career progression/qualifications for advancement. Hiring a resume service helps job seekers view career achievements in an objective way and then create a resume that will highlight those achievements to best market them to an employer.

D. The 'What I Want' Objective
Your objective or summary should be 'what I can do for you', not 'what I want'.

BAD:
---"Seeking a network administrator/LAN support job in a large company offering benefits and long-term career potential"---


This only states the TYPE of job you would be interested in, and ignores numerous other exciting opportunities. This candidate also failed to mention over 15 years of relevant experience in the field and how he could create a meaningful impact given the right opportunity.
 

BETTER:
---"Dedicated and highly adept network/systems administrative professional with 15+ years of demonstrated success driving IT application and infrastructure operations. Proven record of coordinating human and technical resources to drive completion of all deliverables on time and within budget. Track record of excellence in network planning, configuration, design and implementation; outstanding resource allocation/management background with emphasis on LAN/WAN networks."---


i) What does this summary state?

The statement offers tremendous opportunities and impresses the recruiter with both Hard Skills (network administration, systems administration, IT application, infrastructure planning, resource management, technical support, budget adherence, network configuration/design, LAN/WAN support, project management) AND Soft Skills (dedicated, adept, creativity, confidence, leadership, progressive career, record of excellence).

Over 11 hard skills, and at least 7 soft skills!! This summary WILL GET YOU PHONE CALLS!


E. Endless Job Descriptions/Resume Too LONG
We understand that you are proud of your skills and did a LOT at your last company. Having a resume that is 3 or 4 pages however, can be hazardous to your career. Recruiters sigh on seeing pages & pages of job descriptions, or long endless technical resumes. It is best to keep the resume streamlined by expanding your strongest selling points THAT THE MARKET IS CURRENTLY INTERESTED IN. Leave the other details to an interview. Your resume is not a biography of your entire career, it is simply an opening document to get you interviews and engage in discussions with potential companies. See the BEFORE and AFTER example below.

i) Endless Job Decriptions (BEFORE)

Fully responsible for technical support operations in high-volume, 24x7 environment, and coordination of technical issues involving network, hardware, and operating systems (Windows NT/2000 Server, Windows 9x, Novell, and Apple Macintosh). Oversee network connectivity, security, implementation, integration, and troubleshooting for servers, routers, remote access, storage devices, printers, and scanners for company.

Key Contributions:
- Architected and manage internal 50+ node network, successfully integrating four Windows NT/2000 servers (connecting Windows NT/2000 workstations, Windows 9x, printers, and terminals with remote access) through with Novel system.
- Administer MS Exchange e-mail system and Internet Information Server to meet all management, employee, and customer needs for corporate Web site.
- Designed and currently administer internal telecommunications and voicemail system via T-1 connection for 50 long-distance circuits and six local circuits serving 40+ nodes.
- Consult with senior executives on future technology issues involving connectivity for LANs, WANs, and Internet applications.
- Earned a reputation for on-time, on-budget completion of high-profile projects involving Firewall, Windows NT, Windows 9x, and Novell network operating systems, connectivity consultation, and problem resolution.
- Delivered internal design, implementation, cost analysis, and negotiation of current TCP/IP-based network.
- Installed firewall and anti-virus system at cooperate level to protect network from intruders and malicious worms.
- Developed IT policy to protect company?s intellectual and digital property.
- Developed and maintained blackberry based wireless mobile office.
 

ii) Re-written (AFTER)

Oversee complete operations life cycle with oversight of strategic planning, requirements analysis, feasibility evaluation, and tool selection. Administer network and email systems; manage database and internal / external network security. Procure hardware and software applications. Coordinate planning and facilitate implementation during all project phases, from requirements definition and research to costing, project development and implementation. Train new employees; consult and mentor on connectivity for LANs, WANs, and Internet applications. Complete feasibility, cost / benefit, and impact analyses; author and implement IT policy and procedures for employees. Generate disaster prevention and recovery planning processes. Develop and maintain blackberry based wireless mobile office. Provide Blackberry support.

Key Achievements

  • Conceptualized, planned, and launched process improvements that drastically increased department productivity, including seamlessly integrated VPN and terminal services to facilitate remote access.
  • Streamlined and revamped network to integrate Windows 2003 Server system and launched/ implemented new applications.
  • Spearheaded and led network connectivity, security, implementation, integration, and troubleshooting operations with leadership of resource allocation and IT efficiency management.
  • Orchestrated network infrastructure support to include Internet/MPLS connectivity, network cabling, routers, switches, and traffic load balancers.
  • Propelled and analyzed existing, new, and emerging technologies for appropriateness, fit, and functionality within current environment and strategic plan.

Awards & Accolades

Recipient of the "Chairman's Award, 2006" for orchestrating and directing internal telecommunication and cost saving voicemail system via T-1 connection for 50 long-distance circuits and six local circuits serving 40+ nodes.

Avoid these flaws you are will have be just as competitive as your peers. A reputable resume service is a good resource for the IT professional. If you have never ordered a professional writer?s services, give it a chance. As certified professionals, they know exactly what potential employers are looking for. They have the inside knowledge on your field and only have your best interests at heart.

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The 3A's - The IT Professionals Top 3 Resume Errors............by Virginia Jeyapal, CPRW Friday, 02, 09, 2011

So you spot a job opening online and it’s your dream job. You know you are the perfect candidate for this opportunity and all you need to do is get your foot in the door.  You spell check it, check for grammar, and make sure it is neat and updated.  But, are you aware that you may be making one of the top errors IT jobseekers often make on their resume? Here is a checklist: 

  1. Appearance:Have you selected a format that truly showcases your project accomplishments and technical skills? If you are a developer or project manager do not omit the scope, budget size, project details, and tools for every project. If there is special tool you used for 3 of 5 projects, a recruiter totals this time to figure out exactly how much experience you have using that tool. Such details are also important for the reader to place you among your peers and truly appreciate your skill set.                                                                            
  2. Audience:  Don’t forget that your resume is going to be screened, sometimes many times by recruiters and HR personnel before it actually reaches the IT hiring managers desk. If your resume does not balance the technical jargon with layperson language, your resume may be overlooked. It is important to keep your resume balanced and readable. Try to avoid using ‘developed’ and ‘deployed’ for every job!
  3. Approach:This is common mistake many jobseekers make. A laundry list of duties is not what they are looking for. They probably already have a good idea of what the job involves. What a recruiter is looking for is something that makes you unique, special, or worthy of this new role. Including job descriptions with accomplishments will help you showcase your duties and any highlights during that role. Try to quantify your achievements and include $s, facts, and figures wherever possible.

 The IT resume can often be challenging to write and develop.  Make sure you list all your technical skills and include a powerful cover letter. Specify if you are looking for short-term contract positions, projects in a certain regional area, or full-time employment. Do not lie about you background. There is almost always a technical interview that follows.

 

Lastly, your resume is a key tool that sells your skills and experience to both technical and non-technical employers and recruiters.  Keep this in mind before you send your application in!

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